Education Minister Norma Foley has indicated that the release of Leaving Cert results could run into September again this year.
he told the Oireachtas Education Committee that she had engaged with the State Examinations Commission (SEC) and “their best estimate is the date that was achieved last year.”
That would mean early September, although there were previous suggestions that the SEC was hoping to issue results out a little sooner, but not at the traditional mid-August date
Ms Foley also told the committee that the SEC would be doing what they could to release the results as early as possible .
“At this point, it is not possible to give a date; that is a matter for the SEC. I have engaged directly with them on it,” she said.
She said while the SEC had not indicated when the results would be available, “I am very clear that we have it at the earliest possible date, notwithstanding the challenges we have”.
Since 2020, results have been delayed until early September, which has also disrupted the start of college for first years.
The minster pointed to the second sitting of the Leaving Cert in July and her previous commitment that there would be no “cliff edge” drop from the Covid-era inflated grades as factors in the timing uncertainty this year.
The July sitting is for students who, for reason of serious illness, bereavement or on public health grounds cannot sit exams in June, and Ms Foley said was ”only fair that every young person be given “the maximum opportunity”.
Ms Foley also referred to the challenges in relation to recruiting examiners to mark papers, which caused considerable difficulties in 2022.
The minister said the SEC was “reviewing the structures of last year, in particular the availability of correctors. They have a considerable body of work done in that regards.”
A later start to college for first years shortens the first semester, compromises the orientation process regarded as essential for settling into college life, and leaves them at the end of the queue for accommodation.